Skip to comments.Renewing the American Dream: The Real Rational Middle Ground on Immigration Reform
Posted on 07/04/2006 9:42:41 PM PDT by CWOJackson
Renewing the American Dream: The Real Rational Middle Ground on Immigration Reform
By Mike Pence
The Heritage Foundation
May 23, 2006
Note (5/23/06): Earlier today, Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) presented an alternative proposal for immigration reform. As a courtesy to our readers, ACU is pleased to provide a transcript of the congressman's speech, legislation from which he will soon be introducing.
I come before you today in the midst of a national debate over immigration reform. While I acknowledge that, as the New York Times stated Sunday, we are near the end game on immigration reform in the United States Senate, we are far from reaching the kind of compromise that would make a legislative outcome possible in this session of Congress. I bring these remarks in the hopes of offering a new approach and a real middle ground on immigration reform.
One week ago President Bush set out his views on immigration reform to the American people. He stated: There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant, and a program of mass deportation.
I agree with the President that a rational middle ground can be found between amnesty and mass deportation, but I disagree with the President that amnesty is the middle ground. Amnesty is not the real rational middle ground. In the coming days I will introduce the Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act, which as I will discuss today sets forth a real rational middle ground between amnesty and mass deportations.
The Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act is a bill that is tough on border security and tough on employers who hire illegal aliens, but recognizes the need for a guest worker program that operates without amnesty and without growing into a huge new government bureaucracy. I believe that it is a strong alternative to the amnesty plan being debated by the Senate and pushed by the President, and I hope that it will serve as an attractive alternative to Members of the House.
As the grandson of an Irish immigrant, I believe in the ideals that are enshrined on the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. Located on a plaque on Lady Libertys pedestal are the words of Emma Lazarus from the New Colossus:
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
America always has been and always will be a welcoming nation, welcoming under the law any and all with the courage enough to come to this shining city on a hill. But, a nation without borders is not a nation, and across this country Americans are anxious about the security of our border.
Every night Americans see news images of people crossing the border illegally; they hear tales of people paying thousands of dollars to so-called coyotes to smuggle them into the country; they worry that drugs will make their way into the hands of their children more readily; and they rightly fear that our porous borders make it more likely that terrorists will cross with deadly intentions against our families.
In 2005, Customs and Border Patrol stopped 1,189,114 people from illegally crossing the border. Of that number, approximately 165,000 were from countries other than Mexico. Over 200 were from Middle Eastern countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and others.
The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that twelve million illegal aliens are currently living in America. Just a few months ago, that estimate was eleven million. In a few more months or years, that estimate will grow to thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, twenty or more million illegal aliens, unless we do something to turn the tide.
And, we must do something because this is a problem of epic proportions. It is a problem that threatens the very fabric of America. Every time I am home in Indiana, I hear about this issue from my constituents. Hoosiers are concerned. Americans are concerned. I am concerned.
We can control our borders. At the same time, we can find a real rational middle ground for dealing with the illegal immigrants currently in America. A lot of people in Washington are talking about what we can do, but the solutions they are offering, up to this point, are not workable and they are not acceptable to millions of hard-working Americans who believe in law and order and the American Dream.
The Senate is debating a bill that will provide amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Amnesty is no solution. It only will worsen the problem because it will cause more people to come here illegally with the hope of someday having their status adjusted.
I see the solution as a four-step process. Securing our border is the first step. The second step is to make the decision, once and for all, to deny amnesty to people whose first act in the United States was a violation of the law. The third step is to put in place a guest worker program, without amnesty, that will efficiently provide American employers with willing guest workers who come to America legally. The final step is tough employer sanctions that ensure a full partnership between American business and the American government in the enforcement of our laws on immigration and guest workers.
On border security, the House of Representatives got off to a great start in December 2005 when we passed H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. The Judiciary Committee and the Homeland Security Committee were able to put together a strong bill that will secure our borders.
The House-passed bill was a first step. In fact, my bill begins by including the House bill, with a couple of minor changes. The House got it right, and aside from removing the felony provision for illegal presence and clarifying that no one is trying to put Good Samaritans behind bars, I am keeping this language as-is. We must take a tough approach on securing this nations borders. I have said it once today and will say it again, A nation without borders is not a nation.
Therefore, we must make America a nation with borders. We must man the door. I believed that in December 2005 when I voted for the House bill, and I believe it now.
The President called for 6,000 more Border Patrol agents and the use of the National Guard in the interim. I welcome that call and support it, but it is not enough. The House-passed bill adds port of entry inspectors, ends catch and release, puts to use American technology such as unmanned aerial vehicles, and requires the building of a security fence across approximately 700 miles of our Southern border.
These are the kind of actions that will bring about a new day on our border. Instead of coyotes, drug-runners and criminals ruling the border, American law enforcement will rule the border. Instead of terrorists having the ability to sneak through a porous border, they will find a secure border hardened to prevent their illegal entry.
However, as I have been thinking about securing our border, a thought kept coming back to me. So many of the people crossing the border are not crossing for nefarious or devious reasons. The great majority of illegal border crossers do so in order to find work or to be with family members working in America.
I have come to believe that securing the border would be much easier and allow for a better use of our resources if we could eliminate these people from the ranks of those crossing the border illegally. The House bill will secure our border, but it will do it even better when its provisions can concentrate just on those illegal border crossers who are criminals, drug dealers and possible terrorists. In order to do that, there must be a legal means for the great majority of people seeking temporary work to come to America.
A few months ago a very dedicated and resolute American came to me with an idea. Her name is Helen Krieble, and she is here with us today. Thank you, Helen, for being here.
Helen is the founder and president of The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to public policy and Americas founding principles. She is on the front-lines in this debate, literally. She hires ten guest workers each year for her business, the Colorado Horse Park, which is a major equestrian and events center in Parker, Colorado. She hires them legally, but as she can tell you, it isnt easy. The bureaucracy is confounding.
So, she came to me with an idea. She asked why we couldnt have a no amnesty guest worker program run by the private market instead of the government. Helens idea represents the core of the Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act, and I readily acknowledge that. Helen is living proof that the best ideas dont come from Washington, DC, but come from the creative minds of men and women living the American Dream.
Step two is to say no to amnesty in any form. My bill offers a no amnesty solution to the problem of twelve million illegal aliens living in our country. Some argue that there is no amnesty if these twelve million illegal aliens are required to pay a fine or back taxes. The President and many in the Senate seem to believe this to be the proper path.
There is no support back home in my district for amnesty, and this has nothing to do with race or ethnic discrimination. It has everything to do with the fundamental belief of every American in law and order. America is, and always has been, a welcoming society. This sentiment is essentially an expression of a moral principal. The ancient words, Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him for you were aliens in Egypt, reflect the sentiment of millions of Americans who share this compassionate view of the illegal aliens in our midst. But, there still is no support back home for amnesty.
Amnesty is allowing people whose first act in America was an illegal act to get right with the law without leaving the country. Allowing twelve million illegal aliens to stay in our country instead of leaving and coming back legally is amnesty, no matter if fines or back taxes are paid, or how it is otherwise dressed-up or spun by its proponents. The only way to deal with these twelve million people is to insist that they leave the country and come back legally if they have a job awaiting them.
But people ask, Congressman, if youre not going to provide amnesty, what are you going to do with twelve million illegal aliens?
They recognize it is not logistically possible to round-up twelve million illegal aliens, put them on buses and conduct a mass deportation. It also is not realistic to think that some American businesses can operate without these workers. And, it is unreasonable to think that people who came to America illegally and found jobs will voluntarily leave those jobs and opportunities without knowing whether they can return legally.
Therefore, the solution is to setup a system that will encourage illegal aliens to self-deport and come back legally as guest workers. This may sound outside of the box, and it is. It may sound far-fetched and unrealistic, but it isnt. It is based on sound, proven conservative principles. It places reliance on American enterprise and puts government back into its traditional role of protecting its citizens. Let me explain to you how it will work.
Private worker placement agencies that we could call Ellis Island Centers will be licensed by the federal government to match willing guest workers with jobs in America that employers cannot fill with American workers. U.S. employers will engage the private agencies and request guest workers. In a matter of days, the private agencies will match guest workers with jobs, perform a health screening, fingerprint them and provide the appropriate information to the FBI and Homeland Security so that a background check can be performed, and provide the guest worker with a visa granted by the State Department. The visa will be issued only outside of the United States.
Outside of the United States. That is a key point because it is the provision that will require the twelve million illegal aliens to leave. Now, some of you are thinking to yourselves that twelve million people arent going to pack up and leave just to get a visa to come back legally. But, I believe most will.
The process that I just described to you will only take a matter of one week, or less. That is the beauty of the program. Speed is so important. No employer in America wants to lose employees for an extended amount of time. No worker who is earning money to feed and clothe a family can afford to be off the job for long.
But, an employer faced with a looming requirement to verify the legality of its employees and stiff fines for employing illegal aliens will be willing to use a quick system to obtain legal employees. And, an illegal alien currently employed in America will be willing to take a quick trip across the border to come back outside of the shadows and in a job where he does not fear a raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In fact, I envision employers working with placement agencies to make sure that their long-time illegal employees get their paperwork processed, background checks performed, and visas issued so that they will be back on the job quickly.
Imagine for a moment asking millions of people to line up at the U.S. Consulate in Mexico City to obtain a visa to come to America and work as a guest worker. It would be a disaster. Now, imagine private companies competing against each other to process guest worker applicants and match the applicants with open jobs. Imagine the application of American business ingenuity to this process. That, my friends, is why this program will work.
Let me give you a few other details on the guest worker program. The visas will be referred to as W Visas. (No kidding.) I think it is obvious whose support we are trying to garner here. Seriously, the W Visa results from a fortuitous instance of bill drafting. The code already has visa categories for letters A through V, so W is the next open letter. The W Visa, without amnesty, would be the real rational middle ground that the President has called our nation to in this debate.
Now, for some less interesting details. First, the number of guest workers will be limited. After the program is up and running, there will be a period of three years when the market and the needs of U.S. employers will set the limit on the number of guest workers. Not letting the market and the needs of employers govern the number of guest workers initially will prevent illegal aliens from being willing to self-deport. No one wants to be one number over the limit, and that person will want to come here or stay here illegally.
But, after three years of this program, we should be in a vastly different situation from where we are now. The great majority of illegal aliens will have self-deported and come back into a confirmed job. The number of those who dont should be a manageable number for law enforcement to pursue and employers to terminate. Therefore, after three years of the program, a reasonable limit on the number of W Visas will be determined by the Department of Labor based on employment statistics, employer needs and other research. After the three-year window has closed, this limit will be strictly enforced. Thus, the three-year window will provide even greater incentive to those who are currently illegal to enter into and comply with the new guest worker program.
There also will be a limit on the amount of time a guest worker can spend in America. Guest workers will be allowed to renew their W Visas, but only for a period of up to six years. At that point, the guest should decide whether to return home or enter the separate process of seeking citizenship. We cannot have people coming to America as permanent guest workers. That is why having a six-year limit is important. It keeps the meaning of the word guest in guest worker.
In order to receive their first renewal, guest workers will be required to study English and pass an English proficiency class. If America is willing to invite you to come and work, I believe that after two years of working here, the guest worker should be willing and able to speak basic English. They also will be required to pass an updated background check. We are not going to allow criminals to come and work in America.
The bill will require employers to treat guest workers fairly and to follow employment laws. Employment taxes will be paid. Workers will be allowed to change jobs within a certain time period without having to leave the country. No worker will be trapped in a job with an abusive employer.
The W Visas themselves will be issued in the form of secure wallet-sized cards, similar to the cards described and endorsed by the President. Employers will swipe them to verify the guest workers eligibility. Border patrol agents will swipe the cards to confirm the guest worker is allowed to enter the country. The card will contain information about the job the guest worker is coming to perform, and it will contain personal and biometric information so that the guest worker can be tracked. If a guest worker is fired, convicted of a crime, or just disappears, the card will be cancelled, preventing another employer from hiring the person.
Before going to a placement agency with a job, U.S. employers must try to hire American workers. They will have to attest their efforts to the agency. Believe me, this is a tough requirement that will protect the American worker because people will be watching and checking-out employers. Our society has many watchdogs, and I have no doubt that people will be watching to make sure that if an American could be hired, he or she is hired.
With a guest worker program in place, there is no reason why an employer ever should hire or continue to employ an illegal alien. Employers who choose to operate outside of the system, however, must face tough fines in order to be made to comply. That is what the enforcement system and the new fine structure will do.
The strict employer enforcement contained in the House-passed bill is contained in my bill. It sets forth a nationwide electronic employment verification system through which employers will verify the legality of each prospective and current employee. Right now employers are put in a no-win situation. Under the law, they must accept employees with documents that reasonably appear on their face to be genuine. They cannot challenge such documents without risking a lawsuit.
We all know that the use of counterfeit documents by illegal aliens is widespread. To combat this problem, employers need a system through which they can quickly and accurately verify whether an employee is legal. Under the guest worker program, the W Visa cards will be easy to verify, with each workers personal and biometric information. However, some will continue to try to use old, fake documents. We must weed out these people.
Under this enforcement system, each employer will transmit its employees names and Social Security or alien identification numbers to a confirmation office that will compare the names and numbers to Social Security and Homeland Security records. Within a few days, the employer will be notified of the results, and if an employee is ineligible there is a period of ten days to perform a secondary verification. If after that, the employee is still ineligible the employer should dismiss the employee. Continuing to employ an unverifiable person will be subject to serious monetary penalties and fines.
As a final incentive, my bill requires that in order to hire a guest worker, the employer must be a participant in the employment verification system. Participation in the system is phased-in over a period of two to six years. However, my bill allows employers to voluntarily join the system before they are required to participate in order to hire guest workers. This puts enforcement at the work site first.
Employer enforcement is the key. Once in place, jobs for illegal aliens will dry up. Why hire an illegal alien when you can hire a legal guest worker and eliminate the possibility of a big fine? Why stay in the country illegally when you can quickly return home and come back as a legal guest worker?
So, is all of this pie-in-the-sky? Only if you do not believe in the private market or American business. Only if you do not believe that Americans are a willing and open-minded people. Only if you do not believe in the desire of those who are here illegally to have the opportunity to get right with the law.
We can do this. I believe the Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act is a solution that conservatives can embrace. I believe this legislation is a solution that those opposing amnesty can embrace. I believe this proposal offers a solution that those calling for humane treatment of the illegal aliens in our midst can embrace. And, I believe that this solution is one the American people can embrace. This is the real rational middle ground.
I mentioned at the outset that I am the grandson of an Irish immigrant. I take my name, Michael Richard from his. Richard Michael Cawley came to this country on a boat from Ireland and stepped onto Ellis Island, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, in the early 20th century. Like millions who came before and since, that frightened teenage boy had a simple dream, a dream expressed when his mother handed him the one-way ticket and said, you have a future there, a dream we call the American Dream.
My grandfather grew up in a two room house in farm country east of a small village called Tubbercurry, Ireland. When I saw that home the summer after he died, I better understood a moment we shared just a few weeks before he went home to be with the Lord.
It was the fall of 1980 and my father had finally given in to my mothers wish for a bigger house and the two-story, 4,000 square foot home in Columbus, Indiana seemed like a palace to all of us especially my grandfather. When I walked into the house, I saw grandpa sitting alone in the family room and I noticed his eyes were moist with emotion. When I asked if he was alright, he quietly replied in a gentle Irish brogue, I just never thought a child of mine would live in a house like this. My grandpa, like my mom and dad, lived the American Dream. He got off that boat an Irish lad, he died an American, and I am an American because of him.
Immigration Reform is about renewing the American Dream. We renew the American Dream by reaffirming our commitment to legal immigration. We renew the American Dream by giving those who have made their way into our country illegally, an opportunity to come out of the shadows. We renew the American Dream by creating a system that recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in this One Nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
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Actually, amnesty is allowing people whose first act in America was an illegal act to, in any way, get ahead of anyone who has played by the rules.
It's funny how those who are for some form of amnesty - even "amnesty lite - first say that they are not for amnesty. Then they attempt to define amnesty.
Now all we need is to encourage our elected officials to work with this plan and push it through.
Gingrich likes the Pence immigration plan
6 Jun 06
Newt Gingrich gives kudos to the Mike Pence immigration reform plan in his latest Human Events column: One positive addition to the border-security and immigration debate is Rep. Mike Pence's (R-Ind.) bill, the Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act. This bill is as close to the right solution as I have seen. It sets up a four-step process starting with what is needed and universally agreed upon -- border security. Second, it does not provide amnesty for people in the United States illegally. It requires them to go home. Next, it sets up a work-visa program using electronic bio-metric security based on conservative market principles. After an American employer can, in good faith, show that no American worker will fill a job offer, a work-visa holder may be hired. The key feature is that, in order for people who are here illegally to get a work visa, they must go home, because work visas will only be issued outside of the United States. Fourth, once the program is set up, companies that continue to ignore the law will be sanctioned severely. I hope the House will take a serious look at Rep. Pence's thoughtful and pragmatic approach to solving this issue.
"After we have demonstrated seriousness by securing the border, we need to establish the work-visa program in Rep. Mike Pence's (R-Ind.) bill (Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act) that I wrote about last week. (You can learn more about the Pence plan here.) Pence's bill only allows work visas to be issued outside of the United States. So the simple answer to your question is that if you want to work in the U.S. legally, the rules will require you to go home to apply for the work visa.
"But this gets to why being serious about enforcing the law on employers is so important. If we do not enforce the law, then we can expect that employers will continue to break it. However, if we make it prohibitively difficult and costly for employers to hire a non-citizen illegally, then we can expect employers to comply with the law. When this happens, everyone who is working here illegally will be unable to find work and have no choice but to return home to get a work visa if they wish to work in the United States. We can establish a legal and compassionate way for individuals, especially those with families, to return home to apply.
"This is why the dichotomy nurtured by the pro-amnesty camp between 'mass deportation' and 'amnesty' is a false choice. The real choice is between amnesty and enforcing the law. Amnesty is a disaster, because it cheapens the value of American law. It sends the message that American law can be willfully violated without consequence.
"A work-visa program that is accompanied by total border control, uniform enforcement of existing laws (including draconian penalties on employers who continue to violate employment laws after a work-visa program is established), and the rejection of amnesty will have powerful incentives for individuals working here illegally to comply with the law and return home and apply. This will be especially true once a growing number of work-visa holders follow this path and employers find a growing pool of legal workers whom they can tap.
"The key in all of this is to create a set of incentives for the individual working here illegally to choose to comply with the law. If an individual working here illegally knows that improved border control will make it nearly impossible to cross the border again, that stepped-up law enforcement on the border and prompt removal will dramatically increase the chances of his being picked up and returned to his home country (with the penalty of being barred for a period of time of returning legally), that there is a legal way to work here, and that the work visa program that is established by the Pence bill is efficiently run so that there is a reasonably quick transition period in which to return home to apply and receive a work visa, then we can reasonably expect a swift migration to a dramatically improved and legal immigration system that will save lives and protect the rule of law."
Bookmarked and thanks for posting
We are already implementing the economic and bureaucratic integration of Canada, the USA, and Mexico right here: http://www.spp.gov/
You are a fool.
No, I mean it. THEY are listening in on us right now. They are everywhere. It's the contrails. The contrails spell it all out. WAKE UP! Don't drink the fluoride.
You don't believe that is a legitimate government website?
Name the one thing from the website that has you so scared.
Or did you not really look at it?
We have all read it, claude.
Name the one thing that has you all worked up.
After an American employer can, in good faith, show that no American worker will fill a job offer, a work-visa holder may be hired.
An employer in Florida advertises the job in a Billings, Montana newspaper, will that suffice?
The only thing the Senate got right in their bill and Pence needs to change his second point too is, that all "undocumented workers" should be paid the prevailing wage irrespective of whether or not it is a Federal contract and have the right to sue their employers for failing to pay the correct compensation.
Simply put if it costs an employer $30 per hour to hire an "undocumented worker" any one guess how long before our lettuces are being picked by Americans.
You could make those kind of straw man arguments against ANY immigration reform bill.
Sorry if I am encouraging him. I'll make it short:
Claude, is it the erasing of our borders?
IT ISN'T GONNA HAPPEN, it doesn't say it will happen
Is it that our currency will be Ameros?
IT ISN'T GONNA HAPPEN, that it from a liberal fool who Corsi sites because he wants to sell books to tinfoilers like you
Whatever Happened to Mike Pence?
by Phyllis Schlafly
June 28, 2006
Despite the consistent failure of all guest worker plans (e.g., France), Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) is peddling a new plan to import foreign workers who really are guests and really do go home. Pence has turned his back on the 88 percent of House Republicans who voted that we must achieve border security first, because we'll be cheated on border security if Congress passes a "comprehensive" bill.
The Pence plan tries to avoid the amnesty label by requiring illegal aliens now in the U.S. to make what he calls "a quick trip across the border" to Mexico or Canada to pick up a new W visa. A foreigner could get a W visa only if a U.S. employer certifies that a job awaits him.
Pence's plan calls for setting up privately financed offices outside the U.S., with the cutesy title Ellis Island Centers, to hand out the new W visas, which he claims would be more efficient than government bureaucracy. Business would, indeed, be more efficient than government in importing more foreign workers.
Having private employment agencies distribute the W visas would put the fox in charge of the chicken coop. Private industry has a built-in incentive to import as much cheap labor as possible.
Pence says that the Ellis Island Centers will be able to match workers with jobs, perform health screening, fingerprinting, and convey information to the FBI and Homeland Security for a background check in "a matter of one week, or less." We'll have to see that to believe it.
What about the millions of illegal aliens in the U.S. today who do not have an employer willing to go on record as guaranteeing a job for a foreigner? These would include the relatives of jobholders, the day laborers, and the millions of illegal aliens working in the U.S. underground cash economy (an estimated 40 percent of the total).
Pence's bill is silent on this and his staff predicts that the free market will provide the answers. Pence told Time Magazine his bill "will require the 12 million illegal aliens to leave."
What about the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who are not Mexicans? Illegal aliens will not have to return to their home country, but only appear at an Ellis Island Center anywhere outside the U.S. to pick up their papers. Will Mexico and Canada put out the welcome mat for a mass exodus of illegal aliens from the U.S.?
The Pence plan provides that the guest workers, after living here legally for six years under the protection of a W visa, can choose whether to apply for citizenship or to return home. If guest workers don't apply for citizenship, will Pence hire buses to deport them after they have raised a family and established roots?
Six years is ample time to have a U.S.-born anchor baby, or two or three, which starts family chain migration. Any attempt to deal with the racket of birthright citizenship would linger at least six years in the courts.
The Pence promise that employers would have to offer jobs to Americans first is a sick joke. American engineers and computer techies who lost their jobs to foreigners under the H-1B visa guest-worker racket know that a look-for-Americans-first rule is never enforced and easily evaded.
Pence revealed an amazing open-ended part of his plan in his Wall Street Journal article: "My immigration reform plan does not favor illegal immigrants. Anyone may apply for a guest-worker visa at the new Ellis Island Centers; indeed, the plan may actually work to the advantage of applicants who have never violated our immigration laws, since guest-worker visas will be issued only outside the U.S."
Anyone may apply? From anywhere in the world? And without any limits? Pence wrote, "There will initially be no cap on the number of visas that can be issued."
The Pew Hispanic Center surveyed 120 locations in Mexico and concluded that 49 million Mexicans want to live in the United States if they get the opportunity.
If Pence's "guest worker" plan actually worked, and the guests voluntarily go home after six years, it would mean instituting a system that is immoral and un-American. Inviting foreigners to come to America to do jobs that Americans think they are too good to do creates a subordinate underclass of unassimilated foreign workers, like the serf or peasant classes that exist in corrupt foreign countries such as Mexico.
That's not the kind of economy that made America a great nation. As Theodore Roosevelt warned: "Never under any condition should this nation look at an immigrant as primarily a labor unit."
Pence and others who promote "guest worker" plans have a favorite mantra: "Let the free market solve our economic problems." Americans should realize that a global, or even a Western Hemisphere free market, means forcing American workers to compete with people who work for 50 cents an hour.
Letting the free market decide our future also requires loss of sovereignty to some kind of multinational government, as the European Union found out. Is the real push behind guest-worker proposals the Bush goal to expand NAFTA into the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, which he signed at Waco last year and reaffirmed at Cancun this year?
Seems you Phyllis Schlafly is at odds with Newt Gingrich. Not surprising.
New Life For Immigration Reform
by Michael Barone
Posted Jul 03, 2006
Is it possible that the House and Senate will agree on an immigration bill? For most of June, the answer seemed to be no.
The House Republican leadership announced it would not appoint members of a conference committee to reconcile the border-security-only bill the House passed in December with the comprehensive (border-security-plus-guest-worker-plus-legalization) bill passed by the Senate in May. Instead, House Republicans would hold hearings around the country in August -- hearings expected to be forums for complaints about illegal immigration and demands that border control be strengthened before any legalization or guest-worker program is passed.
Meanwhile, the Senate seemed likely to stick with the approach taken by a bipartisan, mostly Democratic majority that rejected limiting the bill to border security. Deadlock seemed likely.
But three developments last week may be reviving the chance immigration will be passed. The first was the renomination of Utah Rep. Chris Cannon in the Republican primary on June 27. Cannon has supported guest-worker legislation and measures to allow children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition to state colleges and universities. His opponent, John Jacob, spent thousands of his own dollars to attack Cannon for supporting "amnesty" and actually led Cannon in the Republican convention, where incumbents are usually renominated routinely. Polls showed the race close. But Cannon won 56% to 44%, down just slightly from his 58% to 42% margin over an immigration opponent who spent much less money two years ago.
If Cannon had lost, House Republicans surely would have panicked and stonewalled any approach but border-security-only. But his victory -- and the fact that he ran ads with endorsements from George W. Bush, who supports a comprehensive bill -- indicates that his positions are not political death, even in a district that went 77% to 20% Republican in the 2004 presidential election.
The second development was an interview of Sen. Arlen Specter in The Washington Times on June 27. Specter is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and supported the Senate bill. He would be the lead Senate voice in any conference committee. Specter still insists that the Senate will only accept a comprehensive bill. But he did concede that he might accept a version that made guest-worker and legalization programs contingent on concrete achievements in border security.
"It may be down the line that we will come to some terms on a timetable, with border security first and employment verification first," he told the Times. Enforcement has "got to be in place firmly. But I don't think the Senate will pass a bill that's limited to that," adding that decisions on a timetable would "come in very hard-fisted negotiations at the end of the rainbow."
The third development was the meeting in the White House of Rep. Mike Pence with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney on June 28. Pence, chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, has advanced a guest-worker plan based on that of Colorado rancher Helen Krieble, which would allow workers to apply in their home countries to "Ellis Island centers" run by private firms, which would match them with jobs from employers in the United States. It's an attempt to get around the current cumbersome green card bureaucracy. Guest-worker slots would not lead to citizenship, but would legalize workers who comply. The Pence program could be phased in after a period in which border security is strengthened.
The Cannon victory, the Specter concession and the Pence plan point toward a possible compromise that could conceivably be adopted by a conference committee and win majorities in both houses. In the process, they direct the attention of those on all sides of this issue to the practical, concrete realities of American life. If advocates of border-security-and-employer-sanctions get their way, and there are high-tech steps to close the sieve on the border and create a forgery-proof identification card system, then what happens to the 7 million or so illegal immigrants who are currently working in the United States? Presumably they go away -- but in the process, we lose a labor force that our economy needs to maximize production. If advocates of a comprehensive bill get their way, and we don't have high-tech ID, then presumably we'll still have millions of illegals in our midst.
It is surely not beyond our technological capabilities to secure the border and to provide legal worker identification, at least if we subcontract these tasks to the private sector, which is so much better at these things than government. Neither the House nor the Senate bill seems likely to achieve those goals. So it's good to note that there's a chance, maybe only a small chance, that a conference committee can come up with a bill that does.
And the beat goes on.
---Since it has nothing to do with the subject of the thread please take it elsewhere.---
You think that security and commerce have nothing to do with immigration policy? This Security and Prosperity Partnership Of North America, is coming right out of the Department of Commerce and the White House. It has everything to do with our will as a country to enforce our own laws. Immigration is connected to this like your left arm to your right.
What exactly are the Tri-Lats up too...in your opinion?
---Letting the free market decide our future also requires loss of sovereignty to some kind of multinational government, as the European Union found out. Is the real push behind guest-worker proposals the Bush goal to expand NAFTA into the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, which he signed at Waco last year and reaffirmed at Cancun this year? ---
That sure is the way it looks. SPP and sealing the southern border are completely at odds with one another.
--- Temporary Work Entry . The three countries have forwarded a trilateral document setting out each country's domestic procedures to modify NAFTA's temporary entry appendix on professionals to the NAFTA Free Trade Commission for approval. This will clarify procedures in each country, thereby providing a mechanism for more North American professionals to be given temporary entry.--- :^)
---Moving towards a Fully Integrated Auto Sector
We will also establish an Automotive Partnership Council of North America that will support the ongoing competitiveness of the automotive and auto parts sector. The Council will help identify the full spectrum of issues that impact the industry, ranging from regulation, innovation, transportation infrastructure, and border facilitation.---
For one, but you need to read the whole thing here:
Your government at work!
---I hope my Y2k beans are still fresh.---
Don't you remember? That's you so full of, them Y2K beans!
I'll have my guest worker hammer out a reply as soon as possible!
I guess Phyllis Schlafly is too then. But then you don't actually want to read any thing would you?
I don't want to speak ill of an old woman so I will not comment.
Give away a little more with each compromise, until one side of the discussion has everything, and nothing remains to the other side.
This is a non-starter with me if the felony provisions for illegal entry are not retained.
Give the illegals a short window of opportunity to exit the U.S. without penalty. The bill sort of does that, but without the felony provision it lacks real teeth.
After that date has passed any illegals found here get a felony conviction, anything of value they have is forfeited to the state and Fed. Gov., then they are deported, with a one year prison sentence to be served if they return to the U.S.
Any "Guest Worker" that remains in the U.S. for SIX YEARS will be here forever, guaranteed!
If they were serious about having "guest workers" instead of uncontrolled migration the work period would be limited to no more than six months at a time, with a required minimum three month stay in their country of origin between U.S. working periods.
This would also help to motivate employers to find American workers, who can stay on the job as long as they are needed.
Employer's must also be required to post as a bond for each worker, if the worker decides to go underground the bond is forfeit, ICE gets the funds to defray the expense of tracking down the scoff-law "guest worker" and deporting them.
The bond would help to ensure that the back-round checks performed are legitimate, employers would not want to lose several bonds due to poor or phony back-round checks not being reliable.
"Guest workers" working time in the U.S. would be limited to three years employment in aggregate, with their total U.S. employment window limited to no more than a five year stint as a "guest worker".
Since the wages they make in the U.S. are so much more than they can make in their home country, they should have to make room for others to share the opportunity.
This is similar to the original motivation for Social Security, to get the older Americans to leave the work force and make room for the youngsters.
How SS devolved is another subject.
Speaking of SS, it must be stated as a part of the program that "guest workers" and illegals will NOT be enrolled in, or eligible for, ANY SS benefits.
Any bonus, profit sharing, etc. that they may qualify for may ONLY be paid in their country of origin.
It might be a good idea to have some percent of wages withheld, to be paid ONLY in their country of origin, as an incentive to fully comply with the program and not "drop out" at the end of their employment window.
The corporation that processed them as "guest workers" can be responsible for making that payment.
It also needs to be mandated that any children of both illegals and "guest workers" are NOT citizens.
"Guest workers" must be single, or leave their families and spouses (significant other's?) at home.
They are to be TEMPORARY workers, so there is no reason for them to be allowed to establish a too comfortable long term existence here.
NO "Path to U.S. citizenship" for illegals, former illegals, or "guest workers", AT ALL!
There are hundreds of thousands of legal immigrants from all over the world already patiently waiting in line, illegals must NOT be rewarded in any way for jumping past them!
Anyone who came to the U.S. illegally should automatically have forfeited any chance of ever gaining U.S. citizenship.
The overall language needs serious clean up as well, as written it proposes and accepts the myth that all "guest workers" and illegals come from Mexico.
That is far from the truth, we have illegals here from all over the world.
This proposal does not cover illegals from, say, China equally.
It is not so practical for a Chinese, Hungarian, African, Australian, Englishman, etc. illegal to return home to apply for a "guest worker" card.
I personally have no problem with the illegals of distant origin being excluded from the program, if genuine enforcement is practiced against them. (Good bye thousands of Russians!)
But I expect the courts will say that the proposed law must treat all illegals equally, if not it may be shredded by the courts.
"Mexican" is not a "Race", but assuming the "guest workers" are all Mexicans would be hard to defend as anything but a racist preference.
So maybe make it open to anyone from the American continent, Mex., Canadian, Brazilian, Argentine, etc.
But if all the above, and more I have missed, is not part of the program, it will be nothing more than a green light for uncontrolled migration, and the destruction of America as a first class country.
Ideally, ALL immigration would be suspended for the next five years while this program is being established and perfected, but no doubt that is too much to hope for.
Once this program is perfected there would be little or no need for future immigration!
Not to mention that the employer who illegally hired the illegal to begin with and has gotten away with not paying all the appropriate taxes etc on their wages to not be fined is outrageous!!
So in effect it's amnesty for the employer.
As the worker self deports (I like the sound of that) who will enforce the "employer has tried everything to employ an American at FAIR wages" and how will that be enforced?
And if that were true than the employer would have had a legal worker to begin with and the employer would have paid all appropriate taxes etc to begin with. And would have paid a fair wage to begin with. So how will this all be enforced and in a weeks time, first of all where are these so called centers at the border? Will they need to be built first? There are a zillion ques I can see coming up which will take another year or so to answer meanwhile the employers are still hiring illegals and they are still flooding in.
So by your standards, Mike Pence thinks that President Bush is "full of crap", right?